Commonwealth Week 9

This series is all about how we can better live into spiritual empowerment made accessible to us, through Jesus. 

In our teaching this week in Commonwealth we discuss Sharing in the Commonwealth of God’s Spirit through Attentiveness and Receiving. We’re excited for you to listen along with us! If you want to talk through this message with a group of people join a community group- www.societychurch.com/groups. We will be discussing the questions listed below.

Community Group Discussion Guide:

STEP 1- Ice Breaker:

Help people to loosen up and share. It will be helpful if someone is new to go around and do names and have each person share about a question and share a bit about themselves.

(Group Leader Note: Use the Learning/Living Circle to guide your discussion and application of the content. Try your best to keep the “learning” and “living” focus balanced.)

Step 2- Learning- Observe, Reflect, Discuss

(Group Leader Note: Don’t feel the need to go through every scripture, point or question. Pick and choose what you feel will be most impactful for your group. If you are not sure where to start, just ask your group what stuck out to them about the message most and start with that.)

Read this scriptures together: Acts 8:4-25

4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.

9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.”

Observation & Reflection Questions to Discuss:

  • Anything that jumps out to you as important, helpful or interesting in this scripture?
  • How does Luke describe the church in this portion of Scripture?
  • What is happening through Phillips ministry in Samaria?
  • What are signs of spiritual renewal that you have seen or experienced in your life?
  • How did Simon’s approach to the Holy Spirit keep him from sharing in it?

STEP 3- Living- Planning, Accountability, Action

Point 1: Sharing in the Commonwealth of God’s Spirit through Attentiveness.

Acts 8:6-8- “When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.”

  • What do you do when you need to focus?
  • How might you be able to grow in your attentiveness to how God is working in your life?
  • How do you see God at work in and through your life now?
  • What is one rhythm you want to work into your weekly routine that helps you to become more attentive to God’s Spirit?

Point 2: Sharing in the Commonwealth of God’s Spirit through Receiving.

Acts 8:15-17- “When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”

  • What do you think it means to receive the Holy Spirit?
  • Have you ever experienced the power and presence of God in your life? Describe what that is like and what your experiences have been.
  • How do you think we receive the Holy Spirit today?
  • Optional Scriptures to review (or share with your group for “homework) and discuss about the role and function of the Holy Spirit:
    • Fruit of the Spirit- Galatians 5:22-24
    • Abiding in Christ- John 15:1-17
    • Gifts of the Spirit- 1 Corinthians 12:1-30

STEP 4- Prayer And/Or Meditation:

Try one of these options, don’t be afraid to mix it up.

  • Share requests and pray for one another.
  • Pray for each other to receive the Holy Spirit. (Just ask God to fill you with his presence, power and love through the grace of Jesus Christ)
  • Inner, Other & Outer life prayer needs
  • Meditation with silence and stillness- A word or phrase to focus your group. A time of silence and stillness, set a timer for 5 minutes if you want.

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